Making Zucchini Heaven! Stanley Tucci’s Spaghetti alla Nerano! His Terrific Show “Searching For Italy!”

Cooking With Stanley Tucci!

As a huge fan of Stanley Tucci’s new CNN travel show, I decided to tackle one of the dishes he showcases in the “Naples” episode:

Spaghetti alla Nerano!

When my wife Alex and I watched the episode, we fell in love with this simple pasta dish, and knew we had to make it for ourselves!

I found a recipe online for Spaghetti alla Nerano that looked incredible, so it was time to make it at home!

Line Up Your Ingredients!

First thing I do is put out all of the ingredients that I will be using, and I prep everything I can before I begin…for this recipe, however, it’s all about pre-cooking your most crucial ingredient!

Plan Ahead!

It’s all about pre-cooking the zucchini – two of them in fact! This is done several hours ahead of dinner – Tucci says he does it the night before!

Slice the zucchini very thin, then heat up your olive oil in a pan and drop them in!

Fry them until they begin to turn golden brown – I did it in batches and each one took 6-7 minutes, and I stirred them every so often to keep them moving like this:

Take the Zucchini out with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain.

Then, refrigerate them until it’s time for dinner!

Time To Make Spaghetti!

When it’s time for dinner, cook your spaghetti al dente, so it’s still a bit firm. I actually decided to cook my Linguine in very little water, then drained a bit, added some butter and let it simmer and soak!

It creates a sauce for the noodles, and you don’t have to drain any of the water off…I love cooking spaghetti this way!

Cheese It Up!

I added a bit of grated cheese to the creamy pasta at this point – a mix of parmigiano, pecorino romano and a touch of shredded mozzarella

Next up, I dropped some of my Zucchini into the pasta to mix it in…that is a buttery creamy broth at the bottom now.

The recipe had all of the zucchini going in at this point, but I chose to reheat a bit of the zucchini slices separately so I could do this:

I piled the pasta in a bowl and then put the rest of the zucchini on top, before sprinkling some fresh parsley over it all…the original recipe called for fresh basil, but I didn’t have any!

I was very happy with how it turned out – remember, I sprinkled cheese into the noodles before I added the zucchini, but you can sprinkle more over the top as well!

So, how did it taste?

Well, it was delicious, and here’s why: the noodles were buttery and creamy, and the zucchini had a nuttiness from the frying – the combo makes for a rich, fresh pasta dish and Alex and I loved!

Thanks to Stanley Tucci for this, in fact you need to watch his great travel show right now, and you can get more details on it here:

Tucci’s love of Italian food is clear – he has cookbooks, and he and Tony Shaloub starred in the beautiful film “Big Night”, about two brothers who try to save their restaurant by cooking a “pasta pie” for a big star:

Their plan is to serve a famous Singer the ultimate Italian dish: a Timpano!

“Big Night” is a beautiful film with Tony Shaloub as well – directed by Tucci and Actor Campbell Scott – here’s a look at the film and the trailer, plus the recipe for an Italian Pie, the “Timpano!”

If you like these stories, why not sign up to receive emails whenever I post? It’s easy to do, I do NOT collect any information about you at all, there are absolutely NO ads of any kind, just stories about movies, music, books, food, travel and pop culture…

You can sign up by clicking on my blog here and see the note on the right!

Let me know if you’ve seen the great film “Big Night”, or have even made a Timpano – and if you’ve had this incredible Zucchini Pasta dish – also, if you like these recipes, feel free to share on social media!

Categories: Art, Books / Media, cookbooks, Cult Movies, Food, food blog, Food Review, Great Films, Movies, Recipes, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, TV Show, Wacky Food

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. I’ve made this several times. Instead of Olive oil I used sunflower oil.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not sure how I missed this delicious pasta dish it looks amazing, John 🙂 x


  3. I’m trying it tonight! Fresh picked zucchini from our garden. Just fried them and put them in the bridge. Can’t wait to fix the creamy cheesy pasta later!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Any past dish is my good friend, and this looks delicious.


  5. This looks so good. I make a similar dish with zucchini, red onion and feta cheese. So simple and so good. I’ll try your method of making the pasta too. Thanks!!


  6. Looks wonderful! I’ll have to try it! 🙂


  7. A delicious looking bowl of pasta John it sounds amazing 🙂 x


  8. This sounds great and I’m happy to eat pasta in any and every form


  9. Dellicious, John. My family love pasta dishes, especially young Michael. He’ll even cook them.


    • This is great because the natural flavor of the zucchini is really heightened by frying and then letting sit…a touch of cheese and butter and the creamy sauce of the pasta water really worked…we loved it! Thanks for commenting!


  10. We call them Courgettes here, and sorry to say I don’t like the flavour of them. But I would love to try your ‘Cheesy Linguine’ in that buttery sauce. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.



  1. Making “Zoodle Pasta!” Here’s My Recipe For “Spaghetti alla Nerano” Using Fried Yellow Squash! – johnrieber

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt with Rebecca Moon Ruark

Take It Easy

Retired, not expired: words from the after(work)life. And music. Lots of music!

Hey, Traveler

Sharing travel tips, ideas, and anecdotes with fellow wanderers, dreamers, doers, and lovers of life

Stevie Turner

Realist, writer, reader, reviewer and rocker.

Cornwall in Colours

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

Bonjour From Brittany

Celebrating what makes Brittany unique

Let's Go To The Movies

Film and Theatre Lover!

SoraNews24 -Japan News-

Bringing you yesterday's news from Japan and Asia, today.

Bite! Eat! Repeat!

52 Cookbooks. 52 Recipes. A Tasty 2022!

A Teacher's Reflections

Thirty Years of Wonder

Tanooki Homemade Cafe

Yummy Homemade Food Recipes to Make You Smile:)

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine

Pete Springer

Passionate Teacher and Future Children's Author


Follow us as we follow the road


Travel Through Ireland and Europe

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

Geeking Out about It

BlerdWatching Waaay Too Much TV


Tea, Tours and Escapades

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

You can always start now

journaling to see some answers

Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

You can take the girl out of Glasgow. Entertainment Reviews from a Wee Scottish Wife and Stepmum living in Finland.

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Through the Shattered Lens

Where mainstream meets grindhouse, exploitation, otaku and gamers

Laura's Books and Blogs

Writing tips, giveaways, reviews, essays, and more!

Drew's Movie Reviews

Movie reviews from your average dude

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Movie Reviews 101

Daily Movie Reviews

Cindy Bruchman

Photography. Observations. Adventures. Let's talk.

Invisibly Me

Live A Visible Life Whatever Your Health


The world's wildest movies from an era of "everything goes!"

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!


The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Adventures and Misadventures in Boulder, Colorado

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

Admit One Film Addict

Psychotropic Cinema and more

emmakwall (explains it all)

Film & soundtrack reviews, good humour and lists


Burgers, Books, Music, Movies, Offbeat Adventures & Pop Culture!


Movie reviews and anything else that comes to mind

%d bloggers like this: